There are times, probably more often than not, that I doubt myself as a mom.
Am I doing right by these precious souls that have been entrusted to me? Am I teaching them the things that Heavenly Father would want me to teach them? Am I doing enough to let them know how much they are worth in the sight of God? Do they know how much I love them even when I mess up?
I’m pretty hard on myself, especially when I feel like I’ve failed. Being a mom is definitely not easy and I know I leave a lot to be desired in that department. There are things I know I could do a whole lot better. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I yell when I know I shouldn’t, roll my eyes when I know it will hurt them, say something mean when I know I should stop because the point has already been made, and even make an effort to let them know when I am put out.
These are all things that I am working on. It’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions. I am doing pretty well I think and do you know what? It’s made me a happier person. My kids have noticed, too. They haven’t said anything but I can tell just by the way they act toward me now. It’s different somehow. More open. Just happier in general.
It’s not easy to admit that I’m not the perfect mom that so many people seem to think that I am. In fact, it downright stinks to have to admit it. But I know it’s the first step to changing what is wrong.
There is so much to repent for. So much forgiveness to ask for from both God and my kids. Somehow it seems harder to ask for it from my kids. I am supposed to be setting an example for them… can I just say that they are far better examples to me than that I am to them!
From K I learn diligence, hard work, and forgiveness.
A teaches me to be persistent and to try new things.
Little H has taught me to be loving, positively minded, and to just let things roll off your back.
C is teaching me to be observant and to give everyone a chance.
B shows me how to be sweet and gentle.
And of course the baby teaches me to smile more and just be happy with the simple things in life.
Sometimes I have moments of feeling overconfident in my mothering. I think I’m doing great and then one of my kids says or does something that puts me right back in my place.
This past week it was A.
She asked me something that kind of caught me off guard and has got me thinking. As we were driving to gymnastics she said, “Mom, do you and Dad ever keep things from us?”
At first I wasn’t sure what she meant but I answered, “No. Why?”
Her reply was, “Sometimes I just feel like you and Dad are keeping secrets from me.”
I then explained to her that we would never keep a secret from her or any of the other kids but there are certain things that they just aren’t ready to know yet. Not secrets… just things too complex and heavy for them to carry and that we would fill her in on those things when we felt it was appropriate for her (them) to know.
I’m not really sure what sparked the question other than it could possibly be that we were watching a show, Family Feud, the other night and someone said the word condom. I quickly changed the station because, ahem, I really didn’t want to have to explain what a condom was. All the kids kept asking what word it was that I didn’t like. Was it a bad word? I explained that it was not a bad word but not something they needed to know right now.
My little B-Boat (A’s nickname) is probably the one that I worry about the most. I worry that she will stray. She is the most stubborn, (and dare I say selfish) little thing and yet, she can be the sweetest, most delightful girl in the whole world. Fire and ice!
I pray for her constantly. I pray that she will know and understand her place in this world. That she will seek for the light in the gospel. That she will hold on to her testimony of the gospel. It’s all there and it makes me so sad to see her question it sometimes.
It hurt me, in a way I can’t quite figure out, that she would think that Anthony and I would keep a secret from her. We’ve always told the kids that secrets are not allowed. Surprises are fine, secrets are not.
In some ways I feel that I have failed A more than the others. Though I feel I’ve failed K and H in many ways as well. They are all beautiful, talented, gifted, and special girls and I’ve failed them.
Girls, please forgive me! I love you all so very much! This is the start of change!
What struggles have you faced as a parent? Any advice?